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Cool Old Guy

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"Anyway, I'm not a cliché,
I hardly own any ties.
I may be old but at least I'm not
like all those other old guys."
Five Iron Frenzy, "At Least I'm Not Like All Those Other Old Guys"

The effectiveness of a cast member is often determined by his distance from the median age of the cast. Deviations up or down will always be coupled with a lack of effectiveness. The Cool Old Guy is an exception to this. At some point, if one character is much older he swings the meter back to 'totally awesome'. In a lot of anime and video games, this makes him somewhere around middle age and the only non-clean shaven guy. Expect him to be greying, a loud voice, but in peak physical condition and unafraid of anything.

He usually won't have any special powers but that's only to marginally keep him from intruding on the others' limelight. He usually either has a dated and dramatic but lovable personality or is a complete no-nonsense hardass, depending on how the other characters act.

In Japan, this trope is called the Oyaji, written 親父 or オヤジ, which means "daddy". Can often stray into Even the Guys Want Him or Stupid Sexy Flanders territory. Wise Beyond Their Years is a younger version (usually no younger than late 20s at minimum) that has many of the same characteristics.


See also: Old Master, Older Sidekick, Eccentric Mentor, Mentor Archetype, Dirty Old Man, Silver Fox, Token Adult. See Cool Old Lady for the Distaff Counterpart. Contrast Aging Would Be Hipster, Grumpy Old Man, and Evil Old Folks (unless when Evil Is Cool).

Example Subpages:

Other Examples:

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  • Uhm, Uncle Sam. You know, this guy.
  • Fred the Baker from the Dunkin Donuts commercials, from 1981 to 1997. (As in "Time to make the donuts!") Originally portrayed as an atypical baker, a hard-working, average joe who always got up early so his product could be ready and fresh for his customers, Fred got progressively cooler as the years went on, doing such things as dressing up like a woman to investigate a supermarket bakery (to show their inferiority), waiting on modish 1980s customers while going into a black and white kitchen full of 1940s employees working to swing music (to show that quality has not changed throughout the years) or even creating his Halloween-themed mini donuts Mad Scientist-style.
  • Colonel Sanders; whenever he appears in commercials, he's much cooler than he was when he was alive. Some good ones here.
  • Dave Thomas was one both in the Wendy's commercials and out of them, see for yourself.
  • We only hear partial references and snippets of the kinds of things The Most Interesting Man in the World has experienced in his storied adventures, but one thing's for sure — if the first thing you heard about him is that he once parallel parked a train, you'd probably drop whatever you're doing just to listen. Even when Dos Equis retired him from their advertising campaign in 2016 he went out in going on a one-way rocket trip to Mars.
  • Ever since The '90s ended, the Cheetos brand has portrayed Chester Cheetah as this in advertisements. Originally being a Totally Radical Mascot with Attitude, the transition was surprisingly seamless. His image on the actual bags however still uses his 90s design.

    Anime & Manga 
  • 20th Century Boys loves its Cool Old Guys. Since it starts its characters around ten and takes them up to a prematurely-aged forty-something, yeah. Later-appearing Kenji is pretty good with this, especially considering his scruffy chin, but last-stage Shogun wins. A lot.
  • Yukiatsu in Ayakashi Ayashi (Ghost Slayers Ayashi), a special case, since he's also the protagonist.
  • The protagonist's grandfather in Bakuten Shoot Beyblade may be getting up there in age - but that's not gonna stop him from dancing on the tables in Vegas!
  • Scary Black Man Dutch from Black Lagoon. Given that he's a Vietnam vet, and roughly contemporary setting of the show, he must be at least in his fifties.
    • Apparently, he lied about being a Vietnam vet. Who knows how old he really is...
  • Bleach: Yamamoto is the Old Master of the series and the kind of cool old guy that could turn you into a charcoal biscuit if you disagreed.
  • Master Tiellagory of Le Chevalier d'Eon is one of the best fencers in France and possibly all of Europe, as well as having more experience with court parties and often wittier repartee than his younger companions.
  • Jet from Cowboy Bebop (although almost all of the main characters are hardened ultra-cool characters).
    Jet: Wait a minute! First of all, I'm not old enough to be your father, all right? Why, if anything, I would be your boyfriend...note  No, wait, that would be bad, wouldn't it? Open foot, insert mouth. I mean, I'd be more like your older brother...
  • Kanchou/Skipper from The Daughter of Twenty Faces certainly fits this trope to a t; even his death is cool. An argument could also be made for Muta, even though he's more The Stoic.
  • Watari, acting as L's assistant, proxy and Battle Butler in Death Note.
  • Delicious in Dungeon has Mr. and Mrs. Tansu, a pair of elderly gnomes who lead their own team of dungeon-crawling adventurers. They're both highly capable and Mr. Tansu also works a second job as advisor to the Island's lord.
  • Early on in Dragon Ball Master Roshi filled this role, even defeating the main character Goku at the end of the series's first tournament arc, where he actually blew up the frickin' moon! Unfortunately, Roshi's power level remained fairly constant throughout the series, while the younger characters became vastly stronger every arc, to the point where, by the start of Dragon Ball Z, Roshi was relegated to being the comic relief. He eventually manages to double subvert it and bring himself back to this status for Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ and Dragon Ball Super.
    • Goku himself may still look young, but he is a grandpa by now, after all.
  • Saizo Ato in Eden of the East is over a hundred years old but still has enough fight left in him to wrestle a fit twenty-something out of his car.
    Saizo: I'm not so old that I'm going to lose to a milk-runt like you!
  • Axel Thurston, grandfather of Renton Thurston in Eureka Seven. Robot mechanic extraordinaire and full of determination, even if a bit grumpy. Not to mention that he does a near-suicidal stunt to make possible for Renton to get an indispensable device and lives through it.
  • Alan Nichol in Freedom Project. Alan is a retired astronaut who essentially plays Master Splinter to a group of societal dropouts, helps them supercharge their racing vehicles, and even gets them into space.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Lt. General Grumman, Old Man Fu, and Dr. Knox.
    • Fuhrer King Bradley comes off as this early on in the series before his identity as Wrath is revealed.
  • Full Metal Panic! has Andrey Kalinin, who admittedly plays mostly a support role, but is still a tough old soldier who still has some fight in him, made especially obvious during the Behemoth arc.
    • Gauron could be considered this. His Ax-Crazy, nutty ways and apparent immortality have made certain parts of the fandom feel that he's completely awesome.
  • No Fukumoto series is complete without one — a lot of the time they're complete nutjobs too though. Just to name a few, Ichikawa in Akagi, Ginji in Gin to Kin and Akagi in Ten.
  • Gangsta. features Chad the police officer and Monroe the mafioso.
    • Worick and Nic are in their 30's so technically they are too.
  • Chief Daisuke Aramaki, the Mission Control of the Ghost in the Shell franchise.
    • His brother, from what little we see of him, would also count.
  • The Claw from GUN×SWORD.
    • For a heroic example, every member of the El Dora V.
  • Gundam:
  • Bear from .hack//SIGN was an older man comfortably pals with a teenage girl, Mimiru, through their shared love of virtual reality online gaming.
    • Phyllo in Roots. He sits on the bridge in Mac Anu all day, talking to anyone who's interested and becoming close with Haseo. In real life, he's an old man, widowed and with two cats. As he tells Haseo, he's just there to kill time, and dies of cancer at the end of the anime.
  • Walter C. Dornez, the butler of the Hellsing.
    • Family is also a prime example.
  • Hunter × Hunter features 2 super-powered old men, Isaac Netero and Zeno Zoldyck. The former is the Chairman of the Hunter Association, where tough fights and Nen are needed JUST to qualify, and was World's Strongest Man right until his death. The latter is the patriarch of the world's most dangerous assassin family, where the kids are trained from birth itself to be able to cope with the Nen-infused world. He almost managed to defeat the former, not without great damage. And yes, both of them are friendly and amusing to their peerage.
  • Initial D has three: Dr. Toshiya "God Hand" Joushima, Kozo "God Foot" Hoshino, and Bunta Fujiwara himself. All three are top-tier racers, and nobody has ever beaten Bunta. Even when he's not serious.
  • Joseph Joestar by Part 3 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Not only does he fight vampires and telekinetic bad guys alongside the younger heroes, but he collects comic books and has a wickedly awesome sense of humor; the latter two are especially put into play in the final chapter. After being killed by Dio and having his blood drained, Joseph is brought back to life with a blood transfusion from Dio's remains. He pretends to be possessed by the vengeful spirit of Dio as a prank on Jotaro, and barely saves his skin from his angry grandson by stating his personal interests. Namely, that he collects comic books, that he knows Bo Derek starred in Tarzan, the Ape Man, and that "Weird Al" Yankovic sang "Eat It". Jotaro relents, because "only he would know such stupid things".
  • Technically count, Shiba Hiroshi in the sequel Kotetsushin Jeeg. While he is a cyborg and still looks like a normal adult, the sequel takes place 50 years after the original, and his girlfriend already has a grand-daughter as a reference of his age. His age doesn't affect his Badassery though.
  • Kotoura-san:
    • Zenzou Kotoura, the protagonist's grandfather, is something of a Dirty Old Man, but he absolutely stands by Haruka through the series, to the point where he disowns his own daughter after she abandons Haruka. He pays for all Haruka's living expenses, is absolutely supportive of her friends in the ESP Research Society, and welcomes them into his home when they go looking for her in Episode 4 and during Summer Break.
    • The old monk is played straight. When he first encounters Haruka, he promises to bring her mother back and starts a decade-long research into ESP. Why? He wants to help Kotoura any way possible. He also welcomes the ESP Research Society into his place when they have no where else to stay in Episode 4. It also helps he good friends with Zenzou.
  • Legend of the Galactic Heroes has Fleet Admirals Merkatz and Bucock from the Empire and Alliance respectively.
  • Max Jenius in Macross 7. He might be 52, but he can still pretty much wipe the floor with everybody in the show, both in cockpit and with his bare hands, and he's the heroine's dad. Ah, BTW, he's also the fleet military commander.
  • Gil Graham of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's. A kindly old English gent who also happens to be one of the most experienced and powerful mages under the Space-Time Administration Bureau's employ. Though he turned out to be a Treacherous Advisor who was very reluctantly planning to seal the Book of Darkness together with Hayate once the book turns Omnicidal Maniac, the cast didn't blame him too much for it considering the complicated circumstances.
  • A Man and His Cat: Kanda is a kind-hearted, caring, and talented pianist and music teacher with an adorable cat. More than one character remarks on how handsome he is, too.
  • Dr. Juzo Kabuto from Mazinger Z. When Dr. Hell sicced an army of Humongous Mecha on him and his colleagues, he managed to escape alive. Afterwards, he spent several years building the titular Humongous Mecha, an eighteen-meter-tall One-Man Army robot. When one of the henchmen of Hell blew up his mansion, he got half-buried under several metal rafts, but in spite of he was moribund and trapped in an underground basement, he managed to survive several hours until his grandsons showed up and he could hand Mazinger over to the eldest (Kouji Kabuto). Also, he saved his son's life by turning him into a cyborg after he nearly got killed because a lab experiment had gone wrong.
  • In Mon Colle Knights, Prince Eccentro's mentor Tanaka.
  • Zelik and Graham from Mother Keeper, though they're only in their 50s.
  • Professor Itsuki from Moyashimon. He's rather laid back for a college professor, referring to nearly everyone with the informal honorific "-kun". Though he does get rather passionate about fermented foods and his research into bioremediation.
  • Naruto:
    • Third Hokage is a very kind, very awesome old man who cared for the people in his village. Just watch the scene where he visits the Academy class to talk to them about the village and the people he cares about. Watch Naruto and his contemporaries' memories of him at the funeral. Everyone has a memory about something awesome he did for them.
    • The fact that Sarutobi Hiruzen was one in the real Uchiha massacre, even if he wasn't happy about it, has caused many fans to adopt a very cynical view of him, even though he is probably the single biggest reason Konoha isn't insane like Mist or as cruel as Sand. The fact that he runs a society of professional murderers who start before they hit puberty is kind of a reality check problem when compared to the actual events of the show. Except that he'd gone through great lengths to try and prevent the Uchiha massacre from happening, and even Itachi pleaded with him that he protects Sasuke. Also, every village has been running a society of mercenaries before they hit puberty, possibly since around the time of the First Hokage himself.
    • Jiraiya when he's not acting pervy.
    • It's implied the Tsuchikage was less harsh in the past since Gaara's question seems to perturb him, and over the years he just grew more cynical with the shinobi world. With the world's constant militarization and the fact that every major village had at least one tailed beast or dealings with Akatsuki by the beginning of Shippuden, he became cynical to match the times. What with the Magnetic Hero and Gaara, his protege, he's softening again.
    • There's also the original Ino-Shika-Chou trio, aka the fathers of Team 10, although they're all in their forties.
  • Zelretch from the Nasuverse (all of the works). When he was younger, he beat down and killed the "ultimate" being, Crimson Moon Brunestud (and in the process singlehandedly stopping the moon from falling into the Earth), only because of a minor dispute he had with it. He's also one of only five "True Magic" users — his magic? Operation of parallel worlds, which lets him do pretty much anything involving alternate universes. He pops into the "main" universe every now and then to take apprentices and screw with them until they're near useless from shock and trauma. Or until they become badasses. Whatever comes first.
  • Lord Yupa from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind has traveled widely, is one of the most knowledgeable members of the cast, and is universally recognized as the best swordsman around.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • While about half of Nagi's group could potentially count, Takahata-sensei and Graf Wilhelm are likely two very good examples. Takahata counting as old mostly because almost 90% of the cast is between 9 and 17. While God knows how old Wilhelm actually is. Takahata's teacher Gatou likely is one too but we rarely see him do anything but smoke in flashbacks.
    • Hell, almost every old guy in the series could qualify, especially the (currently middle-aged) members of the Ala Rubra. Especially Jack Rakan.
  • One Piece has quite a few cool old guys, although probably the most notable is Silvers Rayleigh, First Mate of the former Pirate King — 76 at his debut and capable of knocking out an entire auction house of combatants with Conqueror's Haki before going toe-to-toe with an Admiral, one of the most powerful military forces in One Piece's world. Plus the fact that he swam from Sabaody to Amazon Lily, a journey which takes more than a week by boat and requires crossing a region of sea infested with massive sea monsters.
    • Of course, there's also Whitebeard, in his seventies and still known as the World's Strongest Man, with the power to cause earthquakes.
    • Among the main cast, there's Brook, 88 at his introduction (making him more than 70 years older than main protagonist Luffy) and is both a skilled swordsman and, post-Time Skip, an international rock star.
  • Bang from One-Punch Man is a quintessential Old Master of his martial art Water Stream Rock Smashing Fist, who runs his own dojo on top of his dedication to what he considers the duties of an S-Class hero.
  • The Prince of Tennis has two: Ojii, the Rokkaku coach, and Banda Mikiya aka Banji from Yamabuki. Taro "Itte yosh" Sakaki of Hyoutei is still a bit young compared to them, but he's heading there.
  • Just about any elderly person from Rave Master, but especially Shiba.
  • Hiko Seijuuro from Rurouni Kenshin is in his forties when the main series takes place, but the man is easily in superhuman condition with strength light years beyond anyone.
    • Subverted because Seijuuro looks significantly younger than his actual age; when Yahiko and Misao learn that he's 43, they're shocked and conclude that "Hiten Mitsurugi is the secret to eternal youth!!"
    • Ditto for Kenshin, who also looks significantly younger than his thirty, despite quite a turbulent life.
    • Played somewhat straighter with Okina, who is old and LOOKS it. Upbeat and always ready with a bad joke, he's not afraid of chasin' some young skirts. He's also quite powerful in combat, being nearly a match for Aoshi...
  • The highly skilled but aged and wearily bitter Shimada Kambei of Samurai 7. Quite possibly the reason Kirara surprisingly fell for him. Alas, his hardass nature solidifies when he coldly rejects her feelings before she can even get them out.
  • In Snow White with the Red Hair, we have the heroine's father, who is the leader of the vigilante-ish mercenary group, the Lions of the Mountains.
  • Tenchi Muyo!: Katsuhito Masaki/Yosho is a mustached old man who can still kick ass. In the original OVA, he's actually physically younger than he appears, but in the Tenchi Universe and Tenchi in Tokyo series, he's genuinely old and a straighter example of the trope. Nobuyuki Masaki is this at times too.
  • Old man Ichiryu from Toriko definitely counts. It's been determined that he was the apprentice of the creator of the current age, which was over five hundred years ago and he still looks like he's in his late 30's. He might also cross into Eccentric Mentor territory at times, but he can still throw fully powered Toriko around like a pizza. To top it all off he has a mustache that he can move at will.
  • Vinland Saga has a few examples, keeping in mind that in medieval Scandinavia making it to forty in certain high-risk professions (like being a professional warrior or a sailor) was impressively rare in and by itself.
    • Leif "the Lucky" Eriksson is a side-character in the first arc (and promoted to further importance in the second and third arc), and is notably older than any other member of the cast (the Real Life version was born in 970, making him in his mid forties by the first arc and pushing fifty by the Baltic War arc). He has an Intergenerational Friendship both with Thors (young enough to be his son) and Thorfinn (young enough to be his grandson) and is greatly respected by the cast for his ability to have travelled the sea route from Vinland (modern-day Newfoundland) to Miklagard (Istanbul).
    • Thorkell "The Tall" is another example, being the World's Strongest Man In-Universe even at his advanced age. While he looks a lot younger, the end of the first arc reveals he's fifty (meaning he is fifty-four by the Baltic War arc).
    • Askeladd is a downplayed example: He is not based on any historical figure and his Vague Age and Mysterious Past means he's hard to date, but judging by his features he is likely in his forties by the end of the first arc.
  • Oboe from Violinist of Hameln manga is revealed to be this near the end. Whenever he decides to show his (really good-looking, despite the obvious signs of age) true form, an epic battle ensues.
  • Grandpa Tanaka in Yandere Kanojo. He smokes, drinks, speaks informally, and it's implied he sleeps around with younger women (though not too young - when asked to charm a high school girl he was highly reluctant to do so). He's also good natured and friendly to just about everybody and dispenses useful advice often. His grandson who lives with him, the protagonist and arch-stoic Manabu, has a huge inferiority complex about it though.
  • Sugoroku Mutou in Yu-Gi-Oh! (Solomon Muto in the dub), Yugi's grandfather, especially during the Grand Prix arc where he was Jonouchi's opponent during the first round.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, there was Dr. Albert Zweinstein. (An expy of Albert Einstein, who would likely fit this Trope too.)
  • Yanagi from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds. (But also a little loony.)
  • Rokujuro Misawa in Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL (called simply Roku in the dub), the franchise's answer to the Old Master Trope. Jinlon appeared to fit the Trope too, but as it turned out he was actually the spirit of Number 46: Dragluon in human form, still cool, but not an old guy.
  • Genkai from YuYu Hakusho, although she is female, follows this trope better than Cool Old Lady. Oh, and also discounting the fact some of the teenage-appearing cast is Really 700 Years Old.

    Comic Books 
  • Alpha Flight: The short-lived revival features an elderly superhero called Centennial, a little old man in a sweater who came out of a coma thanks to extremely delayed Puberty Superpowers identical to Superman's. He is played mostly for laughs, but when the team needs someone to give them a good kick in the pants for motivation, he is always ready to provide.
  • Marvel Universe has Doctor Van Helsing, who features prominently in the Apocalypse vs Dracula miniseries. A normal human, an old man armed with nothing more than knowledge and a selection of anti-vampire gear, caught between two of Marvel's deadliest and most powerful villains, and what does he do? Spend the entire time repeatedly verbally taking Apocalypse down a peg for refusing to believe in vampires/that Dracula has control of the Clan Akkaba, and then sneak-attacks Dracula just as he's about to take down Apocalypse, giving the latter an opening, something for which Apocalypse grudgingly spares him. He even takes a moment to, at a glance, diagnose the other hero — Inspector Jack Starsmore — as an opium addict, pointing out that he is a Doctor, after all.
  • Asterix: Getafix the Druid, maker of the magic potion, speaker of Gothic, one of the calmest and most sensible inhabitants of the village, and badass with Magnificent Bastard tendencies. No wonder the Romans are after him.
  • Batman:
    • Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred is pretty darn cool, a magnificent example of the Servile Snarker, and dangerous when pushed.
    • Batman becomes this whenever the timeline allows for it (usually in Elseworlds). The most famous example being Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. For an animated version, see Batman Beyond (and the Batman Beyond version of Old Bruce guest-stars in a time-travel episode of Justice League Unlimited...and proves to still be a downright scary interrogator, even more than his younger self!)
  • Captain America, despite looking like a man in his mid-twenties, is a 90-year old WW2 vet who can take on much younger heroes such as Black Panther and Daredevil and fight Batman to a stand still.
  • Paulie in Circles is kind and caring and treats those close to him like family.
  • Cossacks: Sachko is an old laid-back and freedom-loving warrior who's still a good shot with muskets, smokes a pipe, sees great potential in Karlis (The Protagonist) and takes him under his wing to provide exposition to him about the Cossack ways.
  • Douwe Dabbert, a comic book series revolving entirely around a very old man.
  • In Druuna: Morbus Gravis, Druuna runs into a loony old hermit who protects her from various dangers, being crazy wicked with a knife. In the last few albums, he returns to accompany Druuna in the form of an android.
  • ElfQuest has a few examples.
    • Savah, one of the oldest living elves, who Sorrow's end centuries past and is its unofficial matriarch, with all the inhabitants being her descendants. Called the Mother of Memory by the Sun Folk, she preserves their history and gains knowledge through astral projection, along with being capable of other small spells. Her personality is unfalteringly serene, compassionate and wise.
    • Likewise, after some initial misunderstandings have been cleared up, Lord Voll of the Gliders, who is even older, endears himself to the Wolfriders in much the same way. Unfortunately the trolls kill him.
    • Then there's Ekuar, the wizened old rock-shaper, who retains his charm and wit despite having survived centuries of mistreatment by the trolls.
  • In Eight Billion Genies, Will Williams is the proprietor of the Lampwick Bar and Grill who consistently serves as a voice of reason amidst the chaos. He's Crazy-Prepared and Properly Paranoid enough to have a bunker full of food and supplies in case of a major crisis and spent his wish to turn his bar into a safe haven for himself and anyone else from the wishes of others. His past is shrouded in mystery and at some point he learned to speak fluent Mandarin Chinese, acting as a translator for Wang and Lifeng.
  • Marvel supervillain Grizzly. Despite being a veteran super-crook he's a pretty nice guy when you get to know him, possessing a surprisingly strong set of morals and always being willing to help/give advice to others. He's also a badass who's tangled with many superheroes, almost none of whom actively dislike him. Once he robbed a guy while desperate for cash and when he got back on his feet he tracked the man down and bought him a pizza in order to apologize.
  • The Justice Society of America is more or less built around this trope, along with that of the Legacy Character. Alan Scott, Jay Garrick, and Wildcat are pretty much the coolest old guys in the entire DC Universe.
    • In fact, Jay Garrick is so cool that he's the guy Nightwing (the original Robin) wants to grow up to be.
    • While not the Trope Namer, Garrick is referred to as "One cool old man." By Jack Knight in JSA #2.
    • Wildcat slept with Wonder Woman's mom. That is all.
  • Marvel also has Roger Aubrey (the Destroyer) and the Thin Man, and they did have Iron Cross, who was still active as a hero in the present day despite being old enough to have seen service in World War I, until he sacrificed himself to save the world.
  • Detective Dan Turpin from the New Gods and Superman comics certainly qualifies. A cop who's at least in his fifties, still built like a linebacker, and doesn't have much use for super-heroes because he'd rather just do the job himself.
  • Nick Fury, who's been standing up to supervillains since World War II and whose only power is his longevity and is a badass in every sense of the word. He was born in 1920.
  • The Punisher, depending on the writer. Mainstream writers tend to downplay his age, but people who write the more hard-edged MAX stories acknowledge that he's in his late fifties. He is still a bigger badass than anyone else he faces.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: Scrooge McDuck — pick anywhere in the world, and he's been there. Pick any type of adventure, and he's done it.
  • Billy Batson's mentor, the bearded old wizard Shazam!, is the most powerful sorcerer in the DCU and can go toe to toe with gods in a fight.
  • Papa Smurf of The Smurfs. 542 years old, and still as vital and healthy and able to do the things his little Smurfs can do.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics): Uncle Chuck, who, despite being the one that built the roboticizer in the first place, still serves as a viable and reliable role model to his nephew.
  • The Heat from Super Crooks. While not a good guy, he's an elderly man who takes part in the fighting, uses a heat gun in conjunction with his fire powers, and mentored the others. They respect him enough to go along with the heist so they can bail him out of trouble (and get rich, of course).
  • The Transformers (Marvel): Kup manages to yell at Optimus Prime and get away with it and is one of the few Autobots to survive the series' constant character-killing situations without so much as a scratch. He's also this in IDW's Transformers works (The Transformers Megaseries, The Transformers: All Hail Megatron, The Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers...). Prowl even notes this when he has Kup turned into a Manchurian Agent, since it means Optimus Prime will listen to what Prowl has programmed Kup to say.
  • X-Men:
    • Carles Francis Xavier.
    • Wolverine, whose healing factor slows down his aging immensely. He was born in the late 1800s but has looked like he's in his mid-to-late 30s since his introduction.
    • Cable and Magneto also count, though Depending on the Artist means both are subject to suddenly being white-haired 20-year-olds.
    • Magneto is actually physically in his 40s or so, having been de-aged and re-aged by one of his many experiments. And seeing as Quicksilver was born white-haired, it might just be genetic.

    Comic Strips 
  • Dick Tracy has gradually aged into being this. He was in his early twenties when the strip started, but in the 1980's he was declared to be in his fifties. For a while, Dick Locher even drew him with graying hair at the temples. The current writer and artist have pulled a soft retcon and declared him to only be in his forties, but he's still no kid any more.
  • Mandrake the Magician's dad Theron, head of the College of Magic in the Himalayas, and probably the greatest magician on Earth.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): Godzilla's personality evokes the mental image of this. He's something of an Old Soldier who's truly ancient and world-weary, though not without a sense of humor. It's also indicated that Godzilla used to be less mellow in his youth long ago than he is now in his ancient age, adding further to the trope.

  • Old Man Henderson: A Munchkin Loonie Lethal Joke Character created purely to derail an asshole Killer Game-Master's Trail of Cthulhu campaign. Old Man Henderson is a fifty-something, shotgun-toting fake Vietnam veteran who donated his large collection of lawn gnomes to charity one day, then went home and got high, forgot about donating his gnomes, and wrongfully blamed the local cult of Hastur (who he intitially thought were Mormons) for stealing them when he woke up the next morning and discovered the gnomes were missing. He is almost completely immune to SAN loss against cosmic horrors because his drug habit and schizophrenia means he hallucinates crazy shit all the time, so he assumes anything crazy he sees must be a hallucination too. His dyslexia also allows him to read Black Speech and not lose SAN from that either. After a long and epic session where Henderson near-singlehandedly slaughtered the cults of Hastur and Cthulhu, dropped a yacht from a helicopter onto a penthouse suite sparking an Enemy Civil War between the two aforementioned cults, gunned down shoggoths, rolled a joint with a page of the Necronomicon and smoked it, saved a few characters' lives, and got more than a few player characters killed, Henderson went out in a blaze of glory by rigging an entire ice rink with explosives, summoning Hastur into the middle of it, and then detonating the charges. Henderson didn't make it. Neither did Hastur.
  • The Tainted Grimoire: Lezaford has a Thundrake, is skilled in magic, and provided a temporary place to stay for Clan Gully.
  • Major-General Adiemus of the Holy Order of Juno, retired missionary and mercenary guild leader in Warriors of the World: Soldiers of Fortune. Over sixty and still going strong.
  • Master White-Beard the Grey, Mentor to the Great and Powerful Trixie in An Extended Performance. He's gone now, but she reveres his memory, and he is one of the origins of Trixie's strange but very real code of honor.
  • Kyoshi Rising has Master Lau Dan, Kyoshi's Earthbending instructor and member of the White Lotus.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell:
    • Blazen Sun, the oldest of the captains (he's over 130 years old and, in chapter 11 of the sequel Picking Up the Pieces, mentions having needed to stop and help one of his great-granddaughters that morning).
    • Mist Flight, a grizzled stallion who was lieutenant when Gentle Step began guard training and who steps in to lead the Royal Guard when she's unavailable.
  • All Guardsmen Party: The feisty elderly adept from Heretic Purging, who (among other things) gets the team and their weapons through a checkpoint by trying to seduce the guards.
  • Ask the Famous 8! has Toby. He is the oldest of the Famous 8, at 69 years old, and has no intention of retiring.

    Films — Animation 
  • 2 of 9. One hundred percent.
  • Preston Whitmore from Atlantis: The Lost Empire.
  • The Incredibles: Agent Rick Dicker is a fairly old government agent with a Seen It All attitude to the Supes he works with and a Badass Baritone, and he's a Reasonable Authority Figure who tries to help out the Supers he once worked with to the best of his ability.
  • Master Oogway in Kung Fu Panda was quite old when he beat one of the most dangerous known martial artists. Master Shifu probably could have replicated the success 20 years later if not for his sentimental attachment to said artist.
  • Vitruvius from The LEGO Movie. He's an extremely talented Master Builder, and is able to take on a small army of Lord Business's minions with nothing but a makeshift walker/nunchucks. He's also voiced by Morgan Freeman.
  • Rafiki from The Lion King.
  • The Emperor of China from Mulan. Doesn't lose his cool even in the face of Shan Yu, and delivers a wonderful Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving speech to Mulan. He also ships Mulan and Shang, all but telling Shang "Go after her, you idiot," after the former leaves.
  • Sheriff Woody from the Toy Story films. If he was made in the 1950s, then he's roughly 60 years old in Toy Story 3.
  • In Turning Red, Mr. Gao is an elderly shaman who likes listening to Tony Bennett. He also does his best to calm Mei's nerves before the red moon ritual.
  • Carl Frederickson from Up crosses into this territory near the end, even though he starts out in Grumpy Old Man territory.
  • Both Old Fred and Lord Mayor from Yellow Submarine.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Tim's dad from About Time.
  • The American Pie series brings us Noah Levenstein, a.k.a. “Jim’s Dad”. He’s incredibly understanding of the antics in his son’s life, and those of his friends. In the direct-to-video sequels, it turns out he’s the source of alot of the lore, such as the “bible” and the “Naked Mile”. At the end of the main series, he even gets to hook up with Jeanine Stifler, a.k.a. “Stifler’s Mom”.
  • Kit Carson from Angel (1984) is a former cowboy actor and stuntman who used to hang out with stars like Tom Mix and Hoot Gibson. He still dresses in his old cowboy outfit and wears a pair of Colt Peacemakers. He earns a living telling stories and selling autographs to tourists, and operates as as the unofficial Sheriff of Hollywood Boulevard; providing protection to working girls. He walks Molly and her friends home each night to keep them safe.
  • In The Avengers, the Badass Bystander who stands up to Loki (who is only credited as "Old German") after Loki's "born to be ruled" speech.
    Loki: In the end, you will always kneel.
    Old German: Not to men like you.
    Loki: There are no men like me.
    Old German: There are always men like you.
  • "Doc" Brown in the Back to the Future films. Especially his over-engineered gun in Back to the Future Part III. Admit it, you want one too.
  • Sarge in The Big Red One. Being played by Lee Marvin certainly helps.
  • Shlomi's grandfather in Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi. He is the only person in the house who genuinely likes Shlomi. He also sabotages Doron's amp.
  • Soviet spy Rudolf Abel in Bridge of Spies is portrayed as a surprisingly likable and sympathetic character who is just trying to serve his country. He's also unflappably calm in the face of impending death.
    James Donovan: Aren't you worried?
    Rudolf Abel: Would it help?
  • Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack.
  • Lord Willoughby in Captain Blood. He may be an old English windbag at first, but anyone with only a silver tongue and some good news as leverage who can turn a pirate crew who scoff at sailing for the King into loyal fighting sailors for the British Navy in five minutes is a force to be reckoned with.
  • Any character played by Jackie Chan in the later part of his career. The guy still does all his own stunts and appears exclusively in films with high kicking action sequences.
  • The King from Cinderella (2015). He takes Ella running into him as she flees the palace in stride and ultimately agrees to his son pursuing the mysterious maiden since he's moved by her telling him that Kit is a wonderful man who loves his father.
  • Any character played by Sean Connery lately. 'Cause he's incapable of ever not being awesome, even when the movie itself isn't (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen).
  • From The Dark Knight Trilogy
    • Lucius Fox, Batman's snarky go-to guy for gadgets.
    • Alfred Pennyworth, who like his comic book self is something of a Battle Butler and a voice of reason.
  • Alexandre (Jean-Pierre Aumont) in Day for Night.
  • Edward Scissorhands: The Inventor who created Edward. He was an incredibly gifted scientist, a kindly eccentric old man, and a very good surrogate father to Edward. He lived alone in his mansion where he created impressive devices for making cookies and chopping up vegetables, until his loneliness drove him to create an artificial son for himself. He took care of Edward and taught him poetry and manners. Sadly, he died of a heart attack before he could give Edward his new hands.
  • Foul Play: Gloria's elderly landlord Mr. Hennessy is patient with her You Have to Believe Me! stories, doesn't charge her nearly as much as he could for an apartment the size of hers, and defeats two of the villains in a goofy martial arts duel.
  • Walt Kowalski from Gran Torino. "Get off my lawn" never sounded so badass.
    • Clint Eastwood in pretty much everything he has been in since about 1992. note 
  • The Hunt for Red October: Marko Ramius crushes his political officer's windpipe in one blow, falsifies his orders and burns the real ones, takes a nuclear ballistic missile sub to defect to the U.S., and evades detection by the entire Soviet Northern Fleet before blowing up a much more maneuverable Soviet Alfa-class attack submarine with its own torpedo and an American sub as a distraction. And he does all this successfully, without his own crew ever suspecting him.
  • Two different examples in Hussar Ballad:
    • Field Marshal Kutuzov is old and fat, but he is a great leader, respected by absolutely everybody in the army, who, eventually, defeats invading Napoleon armies.
    • Ivan, main character's batman. He is old, but strong, and a formidable fighter.
  • Indiana Jones:
  • Robert De Niro impresses the younger generation in The Intern
  • Desmond Llewelyn's portrayal of Q in the James Bond franchise.
  • Saxon chief Horsa in Kaamelott: Premier Volet. He's got charisma in spades, he's played by a 69 year old Sting, and he's pretty much the Only Sane Man at Lancelot's court.
  • Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid
  • Pai Mei from Kill Bill Vol. 2.
    • On that note, Bill himself. Not to mention Hattori Hanzo from Vol. 1.
  • John McClane becomes one by Live Free or Die Hard, similarly to the trilogy creeps of Indiana Jones and Rambo series.
  • Sam The Lion in The Last Picture Show.
  • Anthony Hopkins as Don Diego de la Vega in The Mask of Zorro.
  • Raiden from Mortal Kombat: The Movie is the Big Good Mentor for the Earthrealm team, cracking jokes and overall taking care of the chosen warriors. This portrayal later found its way to the games.
  • Multiple SIDosis is an amateur short film in which Sid Leverents, who was 62 at the time the film was screened, plays the song "Nola" for the camera. As he breaks out more and more instruments the film breaks out into more and more split screens until there are 11 different Sids playing and singing. This was a factory worker, making a movie by himself. Pretty cool.
  • Malcolm Beech from Oblivion (2013) is this. His first scene is him smoking a big cigar and somewhat hammily interrogating and giving exposition to a captured Harper. He also mentions having fought on the war and having survived the devastation of Chicago. His biggest desire is down there on Foreshadowing. Jack helps him fulfill his wish.
  • The Naked Spur: Aging Prospector Jesse Tate has an unfortunate greedy streak, but is still likable enough. Despite griping about how he only agreed to help Kemp find fugitive Ben Vandergroat and not shoot it out with him, Jesse does provide covering fire for Kemp and talks about how it might be nice working as a full-time deputy for him. He is also generally nice and helpful to the others despite their mutual mistrust, returns the money Kemp already repaid him after negotiating for a bigger cut of the reward money, respects how the Blackfeet are a peaceful tribe, and balks at things like the implication Anderson is a rapist and the notion of deserting a wounded partner. He retains this personality even after helping Ben escape due to his weakness for money.
  • Phantasm: Jebediah Morningside, he seems like a friendly, endearing old man, which makes it that much more heartbreaking that the Tall Man stole his body.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
    • Captain Teague. Not only is he the Keeper of the Code and Jack's dad, but he's also badass enough to shut a room full of brawling pirate captains (including Barbossa) up by merely entering the room.
      • Granted, he shot one of them to punctuate his entrance. And when Jack asks if the Pirate Lords won't keep to the code, all it takes is a loud discordant guitar twang and a Death Glare to get an entire room full of badass pirates to sit down and shut up.
      • Of course, being played by Keith Richards doesn't hurt.
    • Also Teague's crew in At Worlds End, who all look to be quite tough.
    • Barbossa himself is a bit of one.
    • And Blackbeard, who is into his 70's.
  • Lee Marvin as Nick Devlin in Prime Cut is the oldest hitman in the Irish mob.
  • Many characters played by Anthony Quinn in his last years.
  • Roy from R.I.P.D., which makes it funny that his alternate appearance is a hot young blonde woman.
  • Small Town Santa has two.
    • Obviously, we have Santa Claus, who here is presented as the nicest guy you'll ever meet, knowing very intimate things about everyone around him, and helping reignite the spark of Rick's love for the holiday season.
    • There's also Mr. Harold, the guy who knows everyone in town. When he gets word that Evan's dad lost his job, he hires him as the managers of one of his stores.
  • Spock Prime from Star Trek (2009). Also Captain Pike.
  • Practically all of the Enterprise crew in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
  • Obi-Wan from Star Wars. Make that all of the Mentors. Yoda is more of the Old Soldier/Old Master.
    • Palpatine initially comes across as a Cool Old Guy to Anakin, even though we in the audience already know of his true personality.
    • Count Dooku. He's evil, but he's awesome. In Episode II, at least. Played by Christopher Lee, who was 85a and did around 80% of his own stunts. But not running.
      "I couldn't do the running. I was eighty! I said to George Lucas, I can do the sword fighting, but I can't run!"
    • Han Solo has become this in The Force Awakens.
    • Luke has become this by the time of The Last Jedi. He may start the movie badly depressed, but when he gets back in the fight, he saves the day and proves himself to be by far the most powerful Force user we've ever seen.
  • The Wiseman/Bus Driver from Sucker Punch.
  • Splinter, at the very end of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) movie, proves not to be such a stiff by making a funny joke.
  • Splinter in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), if his speech about how family is the strongest power of all is anything to go by. If not that, then going up against the Shredder alone definitely makes him qualify, even if he does get beaten.
  • The Terminator: The gun shop where the T-800 gets his ammunition is run by a guy in his 60s who seems to get along well with the T-800 during their meeting... up until the point that the T-800 turns his own stock on him.
  • Howard (Walter Huston) in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. He can identify fool's gold, talk Spanish to the Mexican natives, save a child whose life is in limbo after nearly drowning, shoot a gun just as good as any younger man (and at bandits, at that), has been on several gold hunting quests in his heyday, and of course, he guided them into the Sierra mountain range. Made even better in the fact that Huston was the father of John Huston (the director) and won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role, alongside his son, who won for Best Director. This role was young Huston's gift to his father, who had asked him to, "find a good role for his old man."
  • Basil from The World's End.
  • In Thor, Odin.
  • Virgil Earp, as portrayed by Sam Elliott in Tombstone.
  • Jetfire from Transformers.
    Jetfire: My father was a wheel! The first wheel! Do you know what he transformed into?
    Jetfire: NOTHING! But he did it with DIGNITY!
    • Sentinel Prime initially appears to be this to the other Autobots and their human allies, until he shows his true colors.
  • Kevin Flynn in TRON: Legacy, who despite being a Technical Pacifist, demonstrates that he's badass enough that all he needs to do is enter a room and he can shut down everything currently inside simply from his presence. Doesn't hurt that he's a Physical God in this world... after all, he built it.
  • In the first TRON film, Walter Gibbs and his digital counterpart Dumont fall into this territory. Gibbs was the guy who founded Encom, but was more interested in scientific development than money. He invented the laser that got it all started. He was also the only person on-screen who dared to tear Dillinger a new one to his face over the way things were run. His counterpart, Dumont, was the one who allowed Tron to get in contact with Alan via his tower and download the upgrade that eventually destroyed Master Control. Sark's forces eventually catch him, and he's remarkably snarky and sarcastic to them, even in the face of certain de-rez.
  • Vamps: Tepes, who avoids harming humans, provides good advice to the others, and has quite the impressive historical reputation.
  • Another Sam Elliott portrayal is Sgt. Maj. Plumbley from We Were Soldiers. The character tells a large group of young ruperts: "If anyone of you sumbitches calls me gram-paw... I'll kill ya!"
  • Wild Wind has the old farmer Kosta join the partisans in defiance of his drunkard son's Nazi sympathies.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • Professor Charles Xavier has an almost grandfatherly sort of relationship with his students during his older years.
    • Wolverine. While he looks forty, he's over 170 in the original trilogy.
    • X-Men: The Last Stand: Beast is much older than Storm, Jean, and Cyclops, but as destructive as Wolverine.

  • Ruy Sanchez de Casador y Ortiz from 1632: Over sixty years old but still besting swordsmen half his age, and winning the heart of a twentieth-century woman with wit and panache.
  • In The Adventures of Caterpillar Jones, Clarence and George are a retired pair of Adventurers who learned how to do the Flip and climb Ponder Rock without Traveling Thread, inspiring Sammy and C.J. to do the same at an even younger age. They keep up their adventurous ways after becoming butterflies and go Cloud Climbing together.
  • Uncle Bud from After Dark, My Sweet styles himself as one and frequently brings up the fact that he used to be a cop, but Fay is pretty quick to point out he's just trying to mask what a pathetic failure he actually is.
  • Fraa Jad in Neal Stephenson's Anathem. This avout of the millenarians is a master of pithy one-liners and has the ability to wander between parallel time tacks.
  • In Arn: The Knight Templar, this role falls to brother Guilbert de Beaune, a disgraced Templar and Arn's teacher. In the final book, he is invited to participate in Arn's stag night, an event which involves a contest of arms consisting of seven events. In spite of being three times the age of the other participants, not having touched a weapon in decades, never having practiced one event (spear throwing) and never having seen another (ax-throwing), he places second.
  • Most of the disciples of Aldur in David Eddings' Belgariad universe, but especially Belgarath and Beldin.
  • P. G. Wodehouse's novels have Uncle Fred and the Honourable Galahad, who regularly helping their younger acquaintances out of trouble, often with rather impressive Zany Schemes. Uncle Fred gets extra points for knocking the hat off the pompous barrister Sir Beefy Bastable with a slingshotted Brazil nut.
  • The Cat Who... Series: Homer Tibbett, the nonagenarian expert on local history.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory reveals that the Impossible Genius of confectionery Willy Wonka, who looks middle-aged, is actually this ("I'm an old man. I'm much older than you think."), a reason he turns out to be seeking an heir. He's definitely this in the 2013 West End stage musical, in which he has been a Reclusive Artist for over 40 years and was making sweets back when Mahatma Gandhi was alive. Also, Charlie's Grandpa Joe is a downplayed example — bedridden until Charlie finds his ticket, but always fun to be with — in most versions, and definitely an example in the 1971 film adaptation owing to his Deadpan Snarker tendencies ("If [Veruca Salt's] a lady then I'm a Vermicious Knid!").
  • Li Kao from Barry Hughart's The Chronicles of Master Li series falls under this.
  • Khlit of the Curved Sword (aka Khlit the Wolf) from the Cossack stories by Harold Lamb is already retirement age when he first appears in a story. He chooses not to accept mandatory retirement and goes on a walkabout through Asia instead, having many exciting adventures. Along the way, Khlit becomes both Kha Khan of the Tatars and Koschevoi Ataman of the Cossacks (but not at the same time). He's often underestimated by people who don't realize how tough a Cossack had to be to reach an advanced age. Even when Khlit relinquishes the protagonist role to his (adoptive) grandson Kirdy because he's no longer able to wield his famous sword effectively, Khlit remains a cunning fox, and quite capable of licking twice his weight in mooks.
  • Noirtier from The Count of Monte Cristo. When his granddaughter is facing an arranged marriage she doesn't want, he foils it by confessing to the murder of the prospective groom's father.
  • Giles Corey from The Crucible.
    • And from real life. The part about his death was true.
  • Roland Deschain of The Dark Tower series is not only is he several decades older than the rest of his ka-tet and the epitome of The Gunslinger, but he is also possibly several hundred millennia old, due to his having repeated his life over countless times after reaching the Tower. He's totally unaware of that last fact, though.
  • Cohen and his Silver Horde, of Discworld fame. Not one cool old guy, but seven (eventually six, but in their most recent story they pick up a Cool Old Lady).
    • Commander Samuel Vimes fits this in his most recent stories. After all, he's over 50! (When Night Watch threw him thirty years into the past, the version of himself he met there seemed to be only in his late teens, and he describes a 51-year-old vampire as 'not a lot younger than him' in "Thud".)
    • Vetinari. About as old as Vimes (if not older). Not only a political mastermind skilled at manipulating people to act in his favor but a former assassin of incredible skill.
    • Ridcully, especially when he has a crossbow in his hand.
      • One of his predecessors, Galder Weatherwax, was almost as good, but lost it, after going against fate by trying to capture Rincewind.
    • And, Lu Tze the living embodiment of (if not inspiration for) Rule 1: "Do not act incautiously when confronting little bald wrinkly smiling men." The one and only master of Deja Fu, with a reputation that makes men who know of him wet their pants (literally in at least one case) if they learn they have crossed him, and he kicked the ass of the new anthropomorphic personification of Time itself.
    • Also Reg Shoe, he's not much older than Vimes, but he's 30 years dead (dies at the end of Night Watch).
    • Various other Zombies and Vampires would fit if 'cool' could be used to describe them.
      • The old Count Bella de-Magpyr in Carpe Jugulum is, as is Lady Margalotta.
    • Alberto Malich, the Wizard who started UU. 87 years old when he blew himself into Death's Domain, and it's been almost 2,000 years since.
    • Dios from Pyramids. Okay, maybe not actually cool, but old can't be used to describe him, he's a freaking 7000-year-old stable time-loop.
  • Abraham van Helsing from Dracula.
  • Dragon Bones has Haverness, who is known for his loyalty and trustworthiness. He's also a very efficient fighter, men half his age are proud if he has to really work for his victory in a training fight against them. He has sworn allegiance to the high king and takes this very seriously, but when the high king refuses to send aid to his homeland, he starts a rebellion, reasoning that it was the high king who broke his oath first.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Shiro from Death Masks as a Japanese Knight of the Cross who, while looking like somebody's grandfather, manages to kick Fallen-Angel ass. Even Nicodemus, leader of the Denarians (the humans carrying said Fallen Angels), is afraid of this guy. Of course the Knights do have literal Divine Intervention on their side, and the RPG states that he has plot device levels of swordsmanship, which says it all really.
    • Harry's mentor Ebenezer McCoy fits also, although he's a wizard and not a Badass Normal.
    • The entire Senior Council. The Merlin held off an army of vampires and Eldritch Abominations with a single ward, and is pretty much based on Christopher Lee. Listens to Wind is a nice old medic and shaman who once alsoshapeshifted into a bear the size of a minibus to beat the crap out of an Eldritch Abomination /Physical God of fear. Simon Pietrovich had a death curse powerful enough to wipe out several Red Court nobility and their allies. With few exceptions, being on the Senior council generally means you are both very old, and a badass.
    • Michael Carpenter in the latter half of the series. He may be half-crippled, but he's a great dad and friend, all around amazing guy, and in "Skin Game" and "The Warrior" he shows he can still brawl when he has to.
  • Professor Henry Armitage of H. P. Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror; a university scholar in his 70's who takes it upon himself (and a couple of other professors) to get bitch-slap the earthborn spawn of Yog-Sothoth.
  • 'Ex-Heroes'': Jarvis has a graying beard and is one of the cooler members of the group. He shows Undying Loyalty to his superhero saviors (along with Billie, Dr. Connolly, Father Andy, and Lady Bee, he's one of the people most comfortable with casually chatting with them), gets Casual Danger Dialogue even when he feels certain he's going to die, and is one of the only people who both venture into the zombie-filled city for scavenging missions and takes guard shifts on the walls.
  • In The Famous Five book Five go to Demon's Rocks, Jeremiah Boogle, the great-grandfather of the village mechanic. He might be old but he is still hefty: he and Constable Sharp break through a locked door by shoving it.
  • In Flawed, Celestine's grandfather is supportive, brave, honest and intelligent, doing everything he can to support Celestine without concern for his own personal safety. He even steals a car for the two of them to use when going to Alpha's "counseling session" to create support for the Flawed, joking about it without care.
  • In Aaron Allston's Galatea in 2D, the protagonist's father C. J. teaches them all how to use guns. He also does all the cooking.
  • Subverted by "Grandad" in Going Postal, who, in spite of being the oldest of the Tower 181 crew and (to the rest of them) a venerable old buffer who has been everywhere and knows everyone and everything and occasionally goes Papa Wolf on their behalf, is only twenty-six.
  • Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter. And after he dies, we get his brother, Aberforth, who is very nearly as cool as he is. Too bad their relationship was, well, rather troubled.
    • There's Mad-Eye Moody, too. Leaving aside that much of the cool stuff we actually see him do is a Death Eater impersonating him rather well, he's annoying and insane but pretty cool.
  • A Harvest of War gives us Raghnall Bors and Tadhg.
  • Miles Teg from Heretics of Dune . Past retirement age in a time that sees humans living greatly lengthened lives due to the Spice (which he himself eschews), he is called back to duty by the Bene Gesserit and spends the rest of the book demonstrating why the Sisterhood still thought him highly valuable.
  • About ninety percent of persons in the Honor Harrington series. Honor herself is 65 in the most recent stories. Yes prolong makes everyone seem younger. But prolong has been around only about 2 generations so there are few people over 120 yet.
  • Mia's grandpa from If I Stay. He drives her to auditions and talks to her when she's in a coma.
  • Nestor from Homer's Iliad is one of these, he is the oldest man in the Greek army and was a young adventurer contemporary with the previous generation of heroes, including Hercules, Perseus, Theseus, and Achilles' father Peleus, he says that all of these previous heroes were stronger fighters than any of the Greeks attacking Troy, including Achilles. He is the frequent source of advice, counsel, and long monologues about the olden days. He is an old badass because he is still gearing up and fighting with the young men on foot and on chariot — and he is a better fighter than most of them! The fact that he survived to old age without being killed in Greek warrior society is taken as a testament to his great wisdom.
  • Bodger the old bull terrier from The Incredible Journey. He's a dogfighting veteran who spent his younger days terrorizing the local cats with his right-hand cat and best friend Tao the Siamese, and in his golden years is a loveable goof who simply wants and gets lots of love from humans.
  • Saeter from the The Iron Teeth free web serial is one of these. He is grey-haired and noticeably older than all the other bandits and yet still by far the best tracker and a dangerous warrior. He is a somewhat grumpy hardass though.
  • The Mariner from the Keys to the Kingdom. He has a magical harpoon so powerful it hurts others just to use it (he calls his 'friend'), and a ship that can sail through suns.
  • Grandfather (not his actual name, but how he is known in history) from Lands of Ice and Mice, who almost single-handedly brings about the first peaceful contact and cultural interchange between the Greenlander Norse and the Thule.
  • Little Critter: Little Critter's grandpa counts; he first appears in the 1983 book Just Grandpa and Me where he takes his grandson to the city to buy him a new suit. Little Critter's grandpa is seen throughout the book as a Sharp-Dressed Man in a suit, cane, spats and a derby. Later books show Grandpa lives on a farm, but still cool as both Little Critter and Little Sister enjoy visiting him.
  • Gandalf of The Lord of the Rings. His impressiveness isn't just because he's a wizard, but because most of the hobbits he's friends with usually describe him in grandfatherly terms.
    • Also deserves a mention for The Movie, as he's played by Sir Ian McKellen. Old guys don't come much cooler than him. Except for Sir Christopher Lee, who played Saruman, and who was still badass despite being too old to walk up a flight of stairs smoothly.
    • Most of the elves are pretty awesome, and some of them are older than the kingdom of Numenor. Legolas' age is never directly stated, but estimates range from 500 to about 3,000 years old. Book Legolas refers to the whole rest of the Fellowship, except possibly Gandalf because he was still dead when the remark was made, as 'children.' Movie Legolas is referred to as 'lad' by Gimli, which may be due to their relative ages compared to expected life-spans. The rest of the Fellowship are either young or middle-aged according to their race, though special mention goes to Gimli at 140 and Aragorn at 88.
    • Théoden — maybe not as badass as he was in his prime, but still amazingly so given that unlike most other examples in The Lord of the Rings, he really is just an old man without a lot of years left in him. He's also very amiable, and strikes up a fast friendship with Merry, despite Théoden being a monarch and Merry being a foreigner of no rank.
  • Woodrow Lowe, age 108, from James Thayer's Man of the Century.
  • Popsy in the eponymous story Nightmares & Dreamscapes by Stephen King. He is the little vampire boy's grandfather and kills Sheridan for even trying to do so.
  • Santiago, the titular old man in Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea.
  • In the Petaybee books, Whittaker Fiske is not only cool but far more progressive than his son- he's completely open to the idea that Petaybee might be sentient when few off-worlders are.
  • Lord Varano from Samuel Shellabarger's Prince of Foxes, a historical novel of the Italian Renaissance. This upright old knight teaches cynical Guile Hero Andrea Orsini the meaning of honor. Lord Varano's scene, in which the folk of Città Del Monte elect to fight for him despite believing they are doomed to defeat by Cesare Borgia, is among the classic examples of both tropes.
  • The Railway Series: Edward, Toby, Skarloey, Rheneas, Duke. All of them but Toby were built in the nineteenth century, and all are still in active service. Skarloey and Rheneas would currently be 146 years old. Also applies to Sir Topham Hatt I and Sir Topham Hatt II during certain parts of the series' timeline. Out-of-universe, applies to the original author, the late Rev. Wilbert Awdry, and his son Christopher Awdry who is the current author.
  • Raptor Red brings us a Cool Old Dactyl in the form of... the white dactyl. Old even by dactyl standards, he has bowed out of the great play of reproduction and chick-rearing, choosing to instead spend his golden years dicking around with the other predators.
  • Huang Zhong in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and Dynasty Warriors video game.
  • Scholarly, eccentric, aristocratic Sixtus Claudius Julianus in Search the Seven Hills is actually a retired Roman general and ex-governor of Antioch, one of the Empire's wretched hives of scum and villainy. He can even make Christians shut up with a stern look.
  • Father Gus Saenz of Smaller & Smaller Circles might be a priest, but he's a priest who wears his hair long ("rock star hair" according to Jerome), listens to rock music, and dresses very informally compared to the quieter and more conservative Father Jerome.
  • Stargirl: Archie is a retired paleontologist and college professor, as well as the best neighbor ever. Even though he's not officially a teacher anymore, it doesn't stop him, and he hosts "classes" at his home, where everyone, regardless of age or education level, can come and learn something. No grades, no attendance record, no tests, just learning. His classes are every Saturday, but the neighborhood kids are free to drop in any time — every kid at Mica High has visited at least once, and there's a small handful who show up every single week, and often come by after school, too. Note that they're not getting school credit for this or anything; kids show up 100% of their own volition because he's just that good. He's also the only character who even comes close to understanding Stargirl, and spends much of the novel giving Leo advice on how to handle his classmates.
  • Abraham Setrakian of The Strain, a Holocaust survivor that teaches two doctors, an exterminator, and a gaggle of gangsas how to slay some monstrous vampires.
  • Socket from Super Minion. He's an old tinker who supplies Hellion's Henchmen rather than personally taking the field. He's very gruff and to the point, but his advice is usually spot-on even for non-tinker matters, and he clearly cares about both the people in Hellion's turf and under her employ.
  • Star Trek Novel Verse:
    • The Deep Space Nine Relaunch novels introduce readers to the character of Elias Vaughn. Already 102 years old in 2376, he had spent the past eight decades working in Starfleet Intelligence. He had retained the rank of Commander in order to maintain a lower profile but was on a first name basis with many Admirals and even had a higher security clearance than some of them. Vaughn also worked in a cabal formed by Captain James T. Kirk dedicated to stopping and bringing down Section 31. A chance encounter with a Bajoran orb gave him a vision that encouraged him to transfer to command and take over the vacant first officer position on DS9. This is a guy who fought a Jem'Hadar to a standstill. Eventually promoted to Captain, Vaughn commanded DS9 and another starship all while being over 100 years old before being injured in combat against the Borg and dying of his injuries at 109.
    • The The Left Hand of Destiny novels expand further upon the character of Darok, who takes Martok's Ferengi friend Pharh under his wing. Darok inherited being a cool old guy from his father, who died in what Darok termed an "interesting place." Namely, a brothel that a starship crashed in to, crushing Darok's father. Darok goes on to mention that despite being crushed rescuerers were still able to make out a smile on the old man's face.
  • Captain Flint from the Swallows and Amazons series is the only adult the protagonists seem to take entirely seriously.
  • Zedd in the Sword of Truth saga.
    • Though Nathan is even older and in most cases even cooler. Someone who can serve as estrogen brigade bait (in-universe, anyway) at nearly a thousand years old, be one of the only existing prophets in the world, and be such a powerful wizard and (implied) swordsman to boot definitely deserves a mention here.
  • A Tale of Two Cities: Mr. Lorry. He is a 75-years-old businessman, his business includes being a banker, hostage negotiator, and help refugees to flee the country.
  • The short story "They Live Forever" has a subversion of this trope. The narrator becomes a Cool Old Guy at 25 when he is stranded on a planet where the natives have a life cycle of two years. He is proportionally so old by the end of the story that he realizes his age would be meaningless to them and claims to have forgotten. This mirrors the original immortal of the story who made the same claim about himself when questioned by the narrator.
  • In John Buchan's thriller novels, The Thirty-Nine Steps, Greenmantle and Mr. Standfast, Peter Pienaar is a generation older than the rest of the main cast. He taught the hero most of what he knows about disguise, spying, and veldtcraft, and can still do all of it himself. Will calmly walk into occupied Germany or across No Man's Land if necessary. Especially good at breaking out of prison, knocking you out with a well-aimed tea-tray, snuffing the lights in a public-house with a revolver, or rescuing your kidnapped Love Interest. Eventually discovers his life's calling as an elderly RAF air ace.
  • Papa Jan from This Perfect Day.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's Time Enough for Love, this applies not to Lazarus Long himself, two-thousand years old though he may be, but to his grandfather, Ira Johnson. At seventy he was heartbroken not to be able to enlist in the army to fight in World War I, played a mean game of chess, and could kick ass nine ways from Sunday. He also raised his daughter Maureen on the principles of Eternal Sexual Freedom, which had major repercussions on the future of the human race, including Lazarus himself.
  • Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. He's obviously also a Magnificent Bastard, minus the Bastard part. Hell, one of his responses to an argument is something along the lines of stating "You think you're about to win?", which he only said when he knew he would win an argument, or had a back-up plan for what they were about to say. He's the model of a father that every child wants.
  • Trail of Lightning: Tah is no blood relation to Maggie and old enough to be her father, but he's a valuable contact who connects her with her partner Kai.
  • Welcome To Wonderland has Walt Wilkie, P.T.'s grandfather, who founded the Wonderland hotel as Walt Wilkie's Wonder World in The '70s, and is always looking for new statues for it.
  • Many characters in The Wheel of Time. Thom Merrilin, Rhuarc, Gareth Bryne, Furyk Karede, Noal Charin, and the male Forsaken at least.

  • Many musical artists from the 1960s and 1970s such as Fleetwood Mac; Chicago; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, and James Taylor are still going strong today. As are both of the surviving Beatles – Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. (Neil Young is definitely considered a Cool Old Guy by the very young artists he's mentored, among them Jewel, Pearl Jam, and most recently Promise of the Real, led by Willie Nelson's son Lukas, who are young enough to be his grandchildren.
  • Chuck Berry's music dates from the '50s and he was still going strong by the time he died.
  • Ditto for Stevie Wonder; Earth, Wind & Fire; and Lionel Richie.
  • Frank Sinatra was like this in the second half of his career. (In fact, he was probably even cooler than he was when he was younger.)
  • Same goes for countless country artists, with George Strait being the most successful of the lot (currently, at least from a radio and album sales standpoint). Others are way too numerous to mention, although guys like Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, and Hank Williams Jr. immediately come to mind.
  • And for 1970s and early-1980s hard rock and metal musicians, who are past 50 (some of them even pushing 60) by now, like AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and the aforementioned Aerosmith.
  • The Rolling Stones. Both Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are in their seventies, and the band's been touring for more than 50 of those years. Do they seem like they're gonna stop any time soon? Very probably not.
  • Jazz singer Tony Bennett. After his career tanked in The '60s, he staged an amazing comeback, keeping light bouncy jazz alive and kickin' beginning 1994 (and, until publicly announcing his diagnosis of Alzheimer's in 2021, had no intention of retiring, according to The Other Wiki).
  • Little Jimmy Dickens continued to perform well into his 90s until he died in January 2015 at age 94, but that didn't stop him from making humorous cameos around Brad Paisley. At one time, he was brought out during an awards show to make a joke pertaining to Kanye West's interruption of Taylor Swift.
  • Leonard Bernstein introduced kids in The '50s and The '60s to Classical Music through his TV specials, and also did a special on pop music in 1967.
  • Nomeansno singer and bassist, Rob Wright, was pushing 30 when they put out their first album, which meant he was older than most punk musicians at the time and he turned middle-aged shortly after they developed their cult following. In fact, the cover art to their compilation album, The People's Choice, depicts graffiti on a restroom stall that reads, "How fucken [sic] old are Nomeansno? Give it up, granddads." Drummer John Wright added and signed his own graffiti beneath this: "That's 'great granddads' to you, fucker!"
  • Ed Cassidy, drummer for 1960s LA rock group Spirit. The guy was about 20 years older than the others and was the stepfather of guitarist Randy California, yet managed to take a genuine liking to the band's music. Plus, he was no slouch when he came to drumming.
  • Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen. Their dedication to their fans is legendary.
  • Carlos Santana, in his 70s, still plays guitar just as amazing as ever, creates some of the best rock albums in mainstream music, is dedicated to his beliefs and his fans, and still remains just as awesome as he did 40 years ago.
  • Although he was never a legitimate example of one, Frank Zappa by age 50 was still recording, remastering and composing, despite suffering from cancer, which he died from at age 52.
  • John Lee Hooker was still performing on stage in his eighties and released a best-selling album The Healer when he was about 82 years old.
  • Buena Vista Social Club: When they released their 1997 global best-selling album most musicians were veterans who were already in their seventies, eighties, and nineties. The oldest was Compay Segundo (1907-2003), who was 89 at time of recording the album. Special notice goes out to Rubén González, who suffered from arthritis, yet still managed to give away amazing performances!
  • Michael McDonald. (02/12/1952 - present); 5-time Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter who has worked with Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers, as well as a successful solo career.
  • French singer Henri Salvador, from the 1930s until his death in 2008 he was still performing and releasing new albums.
  • Operette and cabaret singer Johannes Heesters (1903-2011) was over 100 years old and still sang and performed at the stage! Not only that but he only gave up smoking a half year before he died.
  • Robert Pollard is 57, and he still puts out at least four albums every year.
  • Jet Black, the drummer for The Stranglers, was nearly 40 when the band came to fame, making him far older than most of his contemporaries (and the rest of the band). He's still playing with them at the age of 76, despite serious health issues which mean he can't play a full set any more or tour outside of the UK.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic: He's been making parody songs since 1976 and shows no signs of slowing down.
  • The Specials' trombonist Rico Rodriguez was a good twenty years older than the rest of the band when they started out and acted as a direct link to the Jamaican ska that they revived.
  • Devo have been together since the early '70s, only broke up in the early '90s then reformed in the mid-to-late-90s, and have tried their best to prevent signs of slowing down.
  • Lonnie Lynn, the father of acclaimed rapper Common. In addition to his history as a basketball player, he regularly did guest rapsnote  at the end of Common's studio albums, dispensing not just wisdom and street knowledge but also praise for his family and for hip hop culture. His "raps" became one of the defining aspects of Common's studio recordings before his unfortunate passing in 2014.
  • Rockin' And Rollin' With Granmaw by Carson Robison is about old people rocking and rolling at a time when it was the hip thing. This is even more so emphasized considering Robison himself was 67 at the time (and sadly passed away less than a year later).
  • Most members of Arrested Development were in their 20s at the peak of the group's popularity...and then there was Baba Oje, the group's "spiritual leader" who was in his late 50s-early 60s.
  • Tom Lehrer wrote and performed most of his music as a young man, but at the age of 92, he decided to release all of his music into the public domain. Also, his response when 2 Chainz asked permisson to sample one of his songs cements his cool status:
    "As sole copyright owner of 'The Old Dope Peddler', I grant you motherfuckers permission to do this. Please give my regards to Mr. Chainz, or may I call him 2?"

  • Episode three of Mystery Show has two: Chef Rene and his old friend Hans Jordi.
  • Brennen in The Once and Future Nerd. A man of more than fifty years of age who is loyal to a fault and strong enough to beat two men to death using their own skulls as weapons by bashing their heads against each other until there is nothing left but red squishy stuff.
  • Episode 3 of Past Division introduces the astral plane's battle master, a level twenty fighter named Thorn, who is in his late fifties but is capable of shrugging off a crossbow bolt to the shoulder.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • In Professional Wrestling, any wrestler in his late 40s and beyond who can still kick ass and take a beating definitely counts. The most recent examples: Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, Shawn Michaels, and The Undertaker at WrestleMania 25. ''WOW. Three men over 40 (and in Steamboat's case, almost 60 and had been retired since suffering a career-ending back injury in a match against "Stunning" Steve Austin"- from a bump on the apron, not from something Austin did- back in August 1994) showed up practically everyone under 40. And throw in Jimmy Snuka, still wrestling at the age of 69, and Mae Young, who was a WWE Diva practically until her death in 2014 at age 90, and was in every decade of professional wrestling from the 1930s to the 2010s.
  • This is pretty much what Rowdy Roddy Piper's last gimmick was all about. He was the awesome old-school guy who showed up every now and then when the young bucks got too big for their britches or forgot what wrestling was supposed to be about, and set them straight.
  • Ric Flair will be fighting for and winning, the adoration of cheering crowds in the gladiator arenas of whatever civilization comes after ours. AJ Styles noted that Flair is 30 years older than him but acts ten years younger, he's got admitted alcoholic cardiomyopathy, and is still getting tossed out of bars, going to bed later than AJ, getting up earlier, doing the same stuff he was doing 30-40 years ago, and still finding time for the gym...while on the road.

  • Bob Kingsley, at age 74 and still going strong as host of Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40. He is best known for his 27-year stint helming American Country Countdown. Not counting the times he was substitute host of ACC, Kingsley has been a fixture on country radio for 35 years, introducing the biggest hits from George Jones and Tammy Wynette (in 1978, the year he started) to Blake Shelton and Taylor Swift (today's top singers).
  • Casey Kasem, host of American Top 40 (and its spinoffs, American Top 10 and American Top 20) was a weekly presence on radio for 39 years – from his late 30s through late 70s! His voice had noticeably changed by the early 2000s, but it was still Casey, and it was cool to many to hear a 77-year-old radio host introduce artists such as Katy Perry, Lifehouse, Alicia Keys, Maroon 5, Pink, Fergie, and many other urban, contemporary pop and rock artists of the late 2000s decade. (And to think, many people half Kasem's age won't think of listening to any of the above-listed artists' music. Kasem – old enough to be some of these artists' great-grandfathers, was still making their music cool.)
  • Casey's rival Rick Dees, age 66, is still countin' 'em down internationally and over his website.
  • Dick Clark, in addition to everything else he did, hosted countdowns such as The Dick Clark National Music Survey, Countdown America, and Dick Clark's U.S. Music Survey up until his stroke.
  • The original panel of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue all became this some time during the nineties. Special mention goes to the late host, Humphrey Lyttelton, who told some of the filthiest jokes on the radio well into his eighties.
  • John Peel was this late in his 40-year radio career.
  • The late Robert D. Raiford, resident social commentator on The John Boy and Billy Show, had been involved in radio since he was a teenager, only leaving in August 2015 because of a stroke and died two years later a month shy of his 90th birthday. Outside of radio, Raiford was an avid motorcyclist and skydiver.

  • Fire Emblem On Forums: With the wide variety of player characters, there are many examples:
    • Chains of Horai: Hiroyuki Honda, the formerly Cursed Boar of the Zodiac, a highly-decorated soldier of the Imperial Army, renown as a legend among the populace and very capable on the battlefield, rivalling the Gnosis-wielding protagonists.
    • Death to Traitors: Evra, a Living Legend who fought in the previous war and is well-known for her immense skill, who was taken as part of the crew to retrieve Joi Hart from Govitz. However, she definitely does not look the part, implied to be due to Vampiric Draining.
    • FEF2: Miguel Cervantes, a senile old man who came out of retirement to kick ass and an Expy of Don Quixote. However, his badassery is not to be denied, and he is entirely capable of living up to his desire to be a Knight in Shining Armor.
    • Lost Lands: Alwine Siekert, a veteran soldier Expy of Reinhardt who can curbstomp enemies with ease despite missing an eye.
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, there are several cool old guys such as Harrad, Josiah and Waldheim.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Many strong Chess players continue to compete into their 60s, 70s and even 80s, such as Korchnoi, Smyslov or Lasker.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Eberron: King Boranel of Breland. In a twist, Boranel is painfully aware of this trope — his coolness and the situation the country was in when he rose to the throne has made Breland unusually dependent on him... which wouldn't be so much of a problem if he had an equally cool heir or wasn't pushing it in years.
    • Forgotten Realms: Elminster loves jokes and riddles. He's an accomplished dancer who loves ice cream and sliding down banisters. He's possibly the game's most powerful character, probably its most powerful wizard. (Actually, Elminster is the type who's Really 700 Years Old, but, for all intents and purposes, he fits the trope.)
  • In Nomine: For different reasons, Archangel Michael and Archangel Yves. Michael is the classic version of the trope, the Archangel of War who's older than every being but Yves and could kick the ass of anything in creation. Yves is the quieter one, the pleasant old man whom everyone loves (except Michael) who *looks* like a harmless old man but as Archangel of Destiny possesses the secret knowledge of the universe and is feared by most of Hell because they don't understand him.
  • Mutant Chronicles: Sebastian Crenshaw. Pushing sixty in a world where average life expectancy is forty. One of the solar system's best swordsmen, martial artists and assassins, still highly active in his profession, and a stern but fair mentor and father figure to many young trainee assassins. He is also a good-looking, distinguished gentleman, the life of every party and quite the ladies' man. Oh, also he's implied to be Scottish.
  • Pathfinder: Although he's 42, Ezren is the oldest of the iconic player characters and a very cool guy.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Logan Grimnar, Chapter Master of the Space Wolves.
    • Any full-fledged space marine (they tend to take some decades training and proving themselves before they become a Devastator Marine and can later hope to graduate to Assault and then Tactical Marine, so any Tactical Marine is probably quite past a normal man's prime) Chaos Space Marine, Necron, Eldar, or Titan princeps. A universe of cool old guys.
    • Aun'shi of the Tau. One of the few examples of this trope to be only about 38, due to the Tau getting shafted on life expectancy.
    • Given the fact that human life expectancy, depending on planet, social status and wealth, can be hundreds of years, it would seem that in 40k, it's a little harder to qualify as a cool old guy. Most players will come up with someone from their own army who is cool and old. Abaddon, Vect and so on. Still, there is one cool old guy who every 40k player can admit to being the coolest old guy who ever cooled: Commissar Sebastian Yarrick - a man whose real glory got going after he retired, being a linchpin leader for the defense of the Second War for Armageddon. In the war, a fight with an Ork Warboss took his right arm and left eye; he proceeded to cut off the Ork's Power Klaw-armed right arm in return, hold it over his head, and rallied his allies while the Orkz routed in terror. He's only gotten older since with his lifespan lengthened by rarely-available technology, but that does nothing to dismiss how he's nearly died repeatedly (and by all rights, should have - an even more terrifying theory suggests he already has and only Ork belief that he's an unstoppable killing machine is what's keeping him walking), and is currently helping a particular zealous chapter of space marines that apparently admit to themselves that this Badass Normal is their best chance for hunting down and killing an especially large Ork named Ghazghkull Thraka.
    • Zig-zagged by Nurgle and his Demons. He's often called "Father Nurgle" or "Grandfather Nurgle", and demeanor-wise, he is a Cool Old Guy who genuinely adores his worshippers, showering them with gifts and blessings. Problem is, he's the Chaos God of death, decay, pestilence and the likes, so while he may be a real Cool Old Guy for his followers, others who don't follow him might find him a lot less agreeable.

    Theme Parks 
  • Epcot has had two over the years: Dreamfinder from Journey into Imagination, who flew around in a Cool Ship collecting thoughts and ideas to create all sorts of new things, and served as The Mentor to his creation Figment until the attraction was overhauled to remove him. Then there was the Sage of Time from the Tapestry of Nations parade, an aged immortal that tried promoting human unity through his Great Millennium Walk that involved lots of cool puppets and great music.

    Visual Novels 
  • Usami "Bear Sensei" Kyojin of Majikoi! Love Me Seriously! is something of a parody. He's only 35 years old and yet is relentlessly mocked by his students for being an old man, and he himself frequently describes himself as middle-aged. What makes this even more ridiculous is that a large chunk of the cast is actually older than him, making all of the talk about his age even more ridiculous.
  • Phantom Thief Silver Cat: Ginka's butler, who's responsible for all intelligence gathering.
  • Ban from Spirit Hunter: NG is around 40 and it's just starting to catch up with him, but he rankles when people call him 'old man' and he proves to be just as effective with investigations and fighting spirits as Akira's younger companions.

    Web Animation 
  • The aged Shinto priest and Badass Long Robe Kamimura from Broken Saints, who lost his family to the atomic bomb in World War II, making him at least twice as old as any of the other three protagonists.
  • Monsterbox: The coolness of the old guy who runs the garden shop is that he lets the little girl pay him with candy wrappers in lieu of actual money.
  • The Most Epic Story Ever Told in All of Human History: Captain Epic, who is much older than the rest of the cast and also one of the most laid-back in the trailer.
  • While YouTube Poop is usually the domain of a younger generation (most poopers are in their teens or twenties), noisepuppet stands out as a Pooper who is in his 50s.

  • Mr. Bear from Achewood, a sharp-witted old pub owner with a broad range of knowledge, who in one story arc handily beat all the younger characters in a contest to see who was the most badass.
  • Dan McNinja, father of the titular character of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja.
  • In Commander Kitty, Morris edges into the "mentor" variant of this trope when he helps Mittens find his self-confidence. Subverted when he realizes that Mittens' newfound hyper-competence threatens to obviate every other single member of the cast.
  • Mr. Fuji from Distortion Nuzlocke; he beats up the protagonist's abusive dad with a shovel.
  • Dominic Deegan: Donovan Deegan isn't as old as some of the other guys on this page, but he probably qualifies, considering he's the father of 3 full-grown men. And he's certainly cool, always upbeat and sociable. Plus he's an awesome swordsman who's pulled some pretty badass stunts (such as slicing his initials into one Jerkass's pant seat). And he can play an electric guitar (which is actually a normal guitar powered by lightning magic, which is all sorts of badass).
  • Jerry from El Goonish Shive: In his first appearance. He's a very wise, jolly, and calm guy who takes some time out of his death ritual to offer some wisdom to three girls he's never met before. Upon learning of Susan's previous encounter with immortals, he even swears to try and pay off the debt that the immortals owe her (despite not being personally involved). As he puts it:
    "Immortals owe you something. I'm here and have pointy ears. May as well be me."
  • Baron Klaus Wulfenbach from Girl Genius.
  • Thaco from Goblins. He is literally old enough to be the other characters' father. He is the father of one of them. In his first introduction, he was sitting in the "retirement hut" with two other goblins — one blind from cataracts and one who shakes so much he can't walk without two canes. Not to mention that his name is a reference to Advanced Dungeons Dragons Second Edition, which is apparently a good way in the past in the game world — at least one generation ago — and which he was apparently alive to see.
  • Dr. Disaster from Gunnerkrigg Court. How many teachers' dramatic entrances are greeted with cheers from the students? Bob Sutton the gardener, who chuckled at Renard's jab about Ysengrin's "terrifying skills of gardening". As we discover later, he's the one who regularly handles some consequences of this — successfully. Also, he always shows a good sense of humor and good sense in general.
  • Mrs. Primrose from The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!! Seemingly a cute and chubby little old lady, she's an agent employed by an ancient civilization of dragons and owns a suit of Bubblegum Crisis-style power armor with which she can fly into space.
  • Sul, the main character in Kiss Wood, who doesn't let age get the better of him. He manages to break out of a huge prison complex and walk across a desert whilst caring a child on his back — only to find out he can't save both of them and sacrifices himself.
  • Mob Ties has Papa-san, the head of one of the few decent Yakuza clans in Tokyo. He's friendly, intelligent, devoted to his daughter, and is the first person to truly realize just how badass Sidney Burns truly is, and is the only person man enough to actually confront him about why he is so badass in the first place. Of course, given that Papa-san was quite the badass himself in his younger days, that last part is understandable.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Lord Shojo. Even Belkar think he is cool, though it is mostly because he orders paladins to clean his cat's litterbox.
    • Julio Scoundrel is a hero who has successfully lived into his old age (old enough to have gray hair, at least) and is still able to hold his own in a swordfight against Tarquin, seduce women, and command his airship. He also teaches Elan the secrets of how to become a dashing swordsman and manages to fit the entire training in a 20-minute montage sequence to boot.
    • O-Chul is probably old enough to count, too. Bad-ass enough to resist torture for months while gathering useful information, then escape armed only with a metal bar, he's another example of successfully being Lawful Good and awesome.
    • General Tarquin, ruler of the Western Continent and Elan's father. The rest of his party applies as well, as they are all extremely powerful and capable adventurers who are able to (briefly) hold their own in a fight against a larger party at least half their age (barring V, who is at least 100 years old, but is an elf and ages slower).
    • Generally anyone who's able to survive to old age, due to the nature of the world. As you age, you earn more levels, and as you earn more levels, you become more powerful - so the oldest people in the world (Xykon, for example) are generally the most powerful.
  • Both Tagons from Schlock Mercenary (the captain is well into his 40s, turning 49 in the Credomar plot-arc).
  • Tales of the Questor:
    • The Eldest. He's the oldest Racconan alive and is a fun-loving chap who can not give a tinker's damn what anyone else thinks about anything by virtue of age. He gleefully gets into pie-eating contests and manages to tell old war stories to the youngsters in ways that keep them interested and clamoring for more. He is also one of the few people who is openly and vocally supportive of Quentyn.
    • Quentyn's dad is also a prime candidate, even more so than the Eldest. Add to that the fact that he can still match his son the professional warrior-mage on the training field in spite of being significantly older and a professional melon farmer and he has some pretty solid badass credentials, too.
  • Rocky's "Grampy" from Too Much Information. He's got a black belt in 3 different martial arts, has fought in 2 different wars, has traveled the world as an adventurer-archeologist, and taught English in inner-city schools. While the rest of the cast is stuck working their way out of a Love Dodecahedron, he hits it off with Cool Old Lady and borderline Manipulative Bastard Rosa Cartman — who, other than being RIDICULOUSLY good-looking for her age, owns a multimillion-dollar corporation. While the young 'uns are still trying to figure their way out of Dysfunction Junction, he hooks up with her, gets laid (on their first date, no less), and elopes with her within weeks.
  • Horse-Man from Unwinder's Tall Comics: He's twenty-something while the main cast are high-schoolers. He's also nice enough to treat Unwinder like an equal; Horse-Man is likewise the only person that Unwinder seems to respect.

    Web Original 
  • Pretty much every over-fifty on Gaia Online counts to some extent.
    • Johnny K. Gambino, who started out in the plotline as a major villain.
    • Edmund, who is BFFs with Gambino, chock full of Battle Butler charm, and suave enough to make perving on Vanessa look gentlemanly. Moonlights as a member of the superhero G-Team whenever the need arises.
    • Old Man Logan, also a member of the G-Team and an obvious Wolverine expy.
    • Uncle Kin in zOMG!, second-in-command of a ninja clan and devoted relative to his Miko niece.
    • And last, but definitely not least, the late Vladimir Von Helson, lord of Gaia's vampires, whose sparkly death scene was easily the best thing about MMVII (unfortunately, even sparklepires couldn't save MMVII).
  • John Winterton, a.k.a. A Nonny Moose, of the Simtropolis forum for SimCity. A member since 2003, he became a core pillar of the forum's community and attained the forum's highest post count. Born in 1937, he died in October 2016. He will be missed.
  • Some Something Awful Goons:
    • GeneSplicer, 43 as of 2009 (that's old when you're among high school/college students) high school forensics teacher ("Who brought the maggots for the students to 'play' with? Me!"), who even has an avatar of the creepy old man from Family Guy with the legend "Forums Senior Citizen". Has a wedding ring made of meteorite iron and collects (fake) skulls. Has a bookshelf full of sci-fi props, including one of those mind-eating bugs from The Wrath of Khan in a tank. Makes sock monsters in his spare time, which he gives to his students as prizes. Mrs. GeneSplicer also counts, since she got him some of the skulls as a birthday present.
      • Possibly HellBastard, since he mentioned a TV show that GeneSplicer also saw as a kid.
    • 50-Foot-Ant (presumably around 50), excellent writer and author of about two dozen Dungeons & Dragons manuals and claims to have witnessed the Ramstein air show disaster and to have a supremely annoying Otherkin relative.
    • Someone who claimed to be a World War II veteran who registered to praise Humper-Monkey (age unknown and possibly 50-Foot-Ant's creation) during his tales of the haunted German-US Army Base that was once used by Nazis where problem recruits are ditched.
    • Tokaii, who was a Chicago cop for a few years during The '60s. He wasn't a Corrupt Cop, but pretty much everyone else was which is why he left despite loving the job. He's also been on some form of internet since 1982.
  • Whateley Universe:
    • Sensei Ito at the Whateley Academy is a Crazy-Prepared Badass Normal who is a tiny old Japanese martial artist capable of taking down virtually every single superpowered student at Whateley. As he demonstrates at the start of every term, in aikido classes. He also has a bit of Magnificent Bastard in him.
    • Whateley Academy is rife with Cool Old Guy characters, from sixty-ish Gunny Bardue who runs the ranges, to Security Chief Franklin Delarose, to a number of older teachers who you just know used to be superheroes. Charles Xavier's school should be so lucky.
  • Can You Spare a Quarter?: Pony is a medicine man, a Scarily Competent Tracker and can carry a child with no difficulty whatsoever.

    Web Videos 
  • The Common Man Show: Babu is a much more laid back example of this trope, but he knows how to have fun - especially with music.
  • The Nostalgia Critic's grandfather. He might have been crazy, but he gets points for being the only family member who Critic has fond memories of.
  • Noob is set in a MMORPG, so most of the cast seems to be in its twenties to early thirties and a recurring subject matter is the generational gap some players get into with their parents or other people of the older generations due to their prejudice about video games (an immature hobby at best, an anti-social serial killer maker at worst). However, one of the players from the Player Killing-oriented guild is a sweet old man who can pull his weight in battle in the comic and mentions he's not the only one playing in his retirement home in the web series.
  • Early Youtuber Les Loken, who recounted his experiences in World War II and the occupation of Japan in a series of videos posted by his daughter.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Iroh practically embodies this trope. (Though he's not a Badass Normal.) The best part about Uncle Iroh is that you just know that if someone went down the list, and played the "Who Would Win" game, nobody would win against Iroh, because he'd offer them all tea, and they'd end up calmly drinking tea and discussing old people stuff. Iroh was trained up to conquer the world. Although he must have had mixed feelings, given the thing with the dragons happened relatively early in his life, he was doing pretty well at that until his son died. His father died the next day. He suspended all his badass and sank into sleep mode, doing nothing while his little brother usurped him and then following his traumatized nephew around the world being as annoying as possible. Then, One-Man Army.
    • And his group, the White Lotus Society, is a whole gang of cool old guys. Plus all 30 or so of them reconquer Ba Sing Se, and at least one of them doesn't even bend!
    • Monk Gyatso, Aang's Airbending instructor; in his first flashback appearance, he and Aang pie a few of the other monks in order to improve Aang's accuracy, and his skeleton is seen surrounded by dead Fire Nation soldiers (soldiers who had been supercharged by Sozin's Comet), which is even more impressive as Airbending is the least lethal of the Bending Arts.
    • Technically, Aang is this too, since he is technically 112 years old on account of being frozen in an iceberg for most of that time.
  • Bruce Wayne from Batman Beyond. Makes sense, considering he used to BE Batman.
  • Wildcat in Batman: The Brave and the Bold and in Justice League Unlimited. Both are Badass Normal to boot, and don't even have Batman's level of training or gadgets- just boxing.
  • Grandpa Max from Ben 10, especially after he's revealed to be a former Man in Black who remembers quite a bit from his old job and still has access to his old gear. Generally of the "dated but loveable personality" type, but swings into "no nonsense" when the situation calls for it... In a nutshell, he's a textbook case. He's the same guy who bosses Snake around, making him even more awesome.
  • Scrooge McDuck in DuckTales (1987), serving as a faithful adaption to the comics' glory.
    • Bentina Beakley and Emily Quackfaster have also become this in the 2017 reboot.
  • Futurama:
    • Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth. For starters, he has a Thug Life tattoo on his back.
    • Number One, the head honcho of the Central Bureaucracy in Futurama. Yeah, the guy's an Obstructive Bureaucrat who encourages obstructive behavior, but he has a flying desk! How cool is that?
  • Felix The Cat from Felix the Cat. being 99-years-old by 2018.
  • Ol' Skool from Get Ed, who uses actual old school gear, but can keep up with the kids he mentors, their enemies, and with Mr. Bedlam as well, much of the time.
  • Mosey from Horseland and to a somewhat lesser extent, Shep.
  • Doc from Invasion America fits the bill nicely, though that series was less plagued by Competence Zone than most.
  • Uncle from Jackie Chan Adventures, not only is he the Old Master but he is seen kicking ass as it is needed and will bring pain to those who bring trouble, including the main protagonist.
  • In The Legend of Korra, Fire Lord Zuko, Iroh's nephew, is keeping the tradition alive. Despite the fact that he’s 88 when he first shows up and a grandfather of two, he's an incredibly powerful bender, and shows no hesitation in hunting down the Red Lotus (Season 3's villains), mostly by himself. He was part of the group that saved Korra from them as a kid, despite the fact that he would've been 75 or so at that point. Oh, and he rides a dragon.
  • Like his Real Life counterpart, Benjamin Franklin of Liberty's Kids.
  • Plato from The Little Flying Bears.
  • Cap'tain K'nuckles from The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. He beat 100 pirates alone, carried Bubby on his back and sailed in a storm during a fight against 8-Armed-Willy.
  • Molly of Denali: Molly's grandpa Nat is a fun-loving volcanologist who provides wisdom and Native stories to Molly throughout the series.
  • From Ni Hao, Kai-Lan, Kai-lan's grandfather Ye-ye.
  • Detective Porfiry Petrovich Rostnikov from Stuart M. Kaminsky's series set in Russia. Over fifty when the series started in the '80s, he is lame from a WWII injury involving a tank but is a champion weightlifter. He once defeated a thug just by holding him in the air, despite all the thug's attempts to get down. (Most of what Rostnikov does isn't brawn but brain, though.)
  • Rick Sanchez from Rick and Morty is one-quarter part drunk, one-quarter part Jerkass, one-quarter part Mad Scientist and one-quarter part this trope.
  • Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat has Yeh-Yeh and Nai-Nai.
  • Secret Millionaires Club has Warren Buffett (voiced by himself) as one who's hip to the four students he mentors that form the Club. He also knew Jay-Z and Shaquille O'Neal, and set the Club up to meet them and learn from their business abilities as well.
  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles always have Master Splinter to come to for advice and for back-up. The TMNT 2012 Splinter advocates Combat Pragmatism and teaches his sons that Honor Before Reason can get you killed. Being a good deal younger than his previous incarnations, this Splinter is much faster and more deadly than in the previous series. He even incorporates his mutation into his fighting style, dropping to all fours and fighting like a rat against especially powerful opponents.
  • Much like the books they are based on, the older engines such as Edward, Toby and Skarloey usually play this straight in Thomas & Friends, though the show's longer run has led to them having more flawed or vulnerable moments than in The Railway Series. Arguably Sir Topham Hatt (aka The Fat Controller) also counts.
  • ThunderCats (2011)
    • Court Mage Jaga is the eldest of the titular Cats, but is fully capable of taking on a Walking Tank by his lonesome, mocking a Mook Lieutenant when held prisoner, and getting a few licks in against Big Bad and Sorcerous Overlord Mumm-Ra.
    • Anet is the elder of a village of Forgetful Jones Elephant Monks. Wise and kind when focused, but constrained by a need to meditate on any decision, they seem largely useless when an invading army comes seeking a MacGuffin, until Anet leads his people in routing the army and defeating an enemy General barehanded.
  • In the original ThunderCats (1985), Lynx-O is the resident Cool Old Guy.
  • Ito San from Tokyo Mater, who is an old Japanese car who helps Mater race against the villain Kabuto after being rescued from a ditch and brought back to Japan.
  • Jerry in Totally Spies! — on the rare occasion that he's personally called into action, he consistently outclasses the Spies themselves.
  • He only appears briefly, but there's a really Cool Old Guy in the old Looney Tunes short "Porky the Fireman". Porky Pig, who is working as a — what else — fireman climbs a ladder at a burning tenement to save an old guy yelling for help, but the guy tells him, "Never mind me, go save Grandpa" then jumps to safety on his own, using his beard as a parachute.
  • Most "old" characters in Transformers tend to be cool old guys. Since they don't age like humans, the most common cause of death is war-related and anyone who survives to be really really old probably did so by being really really badass.
    • Ratchet in Transformers: Animated is definitely a badass, despite sporting a beer gut. He's also the team's medic, making comparisons to Bones McCoy even more impossible.
    • Also Ultra Magnus, especially when he's got his hammer with him.
    • Kup in Transformers: Generation 1 is definitely a cool old guy, like Animated Ratchet but much less grumpy. Also, in "All Hail Megatron" he gets a bitchin' robot cigar to chew on.
    • Even Ratchet's G1 incarnation, who's not really intended to represent any extreme of age the way Kup is, tends to get a lot of this trope. His canon appearances as a competent medic and go-to guy paved the way for his interpretation by the fans. Fandom is especially fond of causing him to bludgeon insubordinate/uncooperative patients with wrenches and other tools, go all Doc McCoy even on Optimus Prime's aft, and generally act in a lovably codger-y manner, even ascribing him Cool Old Guy traits such as extreme shrewdness and a wrathfully protective nature regarding his crewmates (the young twins Sunstreaker and Sideswipe tend to be at the receiving end of his lectures and fists, more often than not).
    • G1 Ironhide was the franchise's original Cool Old Guy. His toy card specifically states how he's the oldest Autobot, the most likely to break down from outdated parts, but too stubborn and ornery to give up and quit fighting. The show just made it better by giving him a Southern grandpa accent to match.
    • Vector Prime in Transformers: Cybertron is both cool and so old he's made of clockwork.
    • Scavenger in Transformers: Armada was a mentor to Optimus Prime.
  • The title character of Uncle Grandpa is this mixed with Success Through Insanity. Anyone who rides a Giant Realistic Flying Tiger is automatically ten kinds of cool.
  • Master Fung in Xiaolin Showdown started out a mentor-type, but with the introduction of Mala Mala Jeong, proved he still has plenty of awesome fighting skills in him.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Oyaji, Cool Old Gal


Meeting Shinji Kojima

Bob and Louise meets their favorite Japanese actor from the "Hawk and Chick" movies and he's a great guy.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / CoolOldGuy

Media sources: